Routine Home Maintenance

Preventative maintenance now can save a lot of time and money later. Here is a handy routine maintenance check list that is ideal to keep on hand.

Fall

– Remove screens and install storm windows and doors.

– Clean window wells, debris from under decks & porches.

– Shut off water to, and drain all exterior pipes, hoses, hose bibs, and valves.

– Test sump pumps.

Bi-annually Spring/Fall

– Masonry chimneys should be inspected for loose mortar, cracked or broken pieces, metal chimneys should be inspected for rust, missing rain caps and that the storm collars or properly caulked, and metal flashing’s need to be checked for leaks. Signs of moisture penetration i.e.: efflorescence, should be further investigated by a qualified professional.

– Roofs should be inspected for missing, loose or damaged shingles. Check high wear areas (valleys, heavy weather side) for missing granules. Check all flashing’s and caulking for damage or leaks. Flat roofs need to be checked for shifting, or missing gravel, blistering, cracks and standing water. Keep all trees and branches well back from the roof.

– Gutters and down spouts should be cleaned of debris and flushed with water, be sure to disconnect the down spouts from the perimeter drainage first. Make sure all gutters and down spouts are securely fastened and properly connected.

– Inspect soffits and Fascia for damage, and signs of birds, rodents or insects.

– Exterior walls should be checked for any signs of damage or rot. Note any signs of settlement.

– Check fences and retaining walls for rot, insects, and/or shifting.

– Check toilets for leaks and that they are well secured to the floor.

– Clean all faucet aerators and shower heads.

– Clean debris from all drains (including floor drains, exterior catch basins & sumps), and replace seals if necessary.

– Flush all fixtures with baking soda and hot water.

– Check all accessible supply side plumbing for leaks.

– Check all accessible DWV (drain/waste/vent) plumbing for leaks.

– Inspect foundation walls, basements & crawl spaces for moisture penetration (efflorescence, spalling or blistering of paint) and or cracks.

– Service hot water heating systems.

– Clean or replace range hood filters.

– Check all windows for cracks, loose glazing compound, failed sealed units (condensation in between the panes).

– Check all doors for ease of operation and proper seals on all exterior doors.

Monthly

– Test all Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter breakers and outlets.

– Test garage door closer safety circuit.

– Test smoke detectors.

– Test Carbon Monoxide detectors.

– Test all door / window latches and hardware for proper operation and security, particularly those used for emergency exits.

– Perform a general inspection of all heating/cooling units, clean or replace filters. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. Clean snow and/or debris from exterior units.

– Perform a visual inspection of hot water heater(s) for signs of leaks or rusting.
Unless you are proficient and knowledgeable with hot water tanks, testing the P&T valve and draining any sediment build up on the bottom of the tank is better left to a qualified professional.

– Check all fire extinguishers charge.

– Add water to any floor drains to keep the trap seal intact.

– Flush garburator with baking soda and hot water.

Annually

– Test and recharge fire extinguishers as necessary.

– Clean smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (vacuum).

– Heating ducts, registers, and radiators should be vacuumed.

– The mechanical systems (heating, plumbing, hot water, and electrical service) should be checked on an annual basis by qualified professionals for any signs of failure or necessary repair/maintenance.

– Have septic tanks and fields checked and cleaned if necessary.

– Cut back trees and shrubs from the siding and roof of the house.

– Check all caulking on exterior windows, doors, vents.

– Have all chimneys and flues checked and cleaned as needed.

– Re-caulk and reseal bathtub surrounds.

6 Tips to Choose Home Windows

Buying a new home or renovating the old one, in both the cases, you may consider investing in new home windows since it revamps the look of your house completely. There was a time when the sole purpose of buying new home windows was actually finding a covering for the glass. Today, choosing home windows is taking more time and effort because owners have become more conscious. The focus has shifted from choosing just a glass covering to choosing a window that is high on utility. It should beautify your home and at the same time help in improving your overall energy savings. In simple terms, the idea revolves around choosing home windows that give you the maximum value for the money that you choose to invest in them.

Here is a compilation of tips to choose the right type of home windows:

1. Size of the window

This is one of the first things that you will have to figure out. Find out the size of the opening and accordingly, you will be able to decide the size of the window. Doing this is not a daunting task. All you need to do is grab a inch tape and measure the open space in the area where you are planning to put a window.

2. Windows should match your architectural settings

It is very important for the windows to match the overall home d├ęcor. Ideally, you should hire an interior designer to advise you on what will look good and what will not. However, if your budget does not permit you to do so, you can simply read up a little through the internet to get a better idea about the various options.

3. It should be high on energy saving

When you buy home windows, it is important to take the external environment into consideration. There are several types of windows that come with different energy saving features. You can always look up the internet for the options.

4. Safety

Invest in strong and sturdy windows that are able to add to the security of the premises.

5. Easy to clean

The windows should be low maintenance, something that you can clean on daily basis. This will help you save a lot of money as well.

6. Right amount of ventilation

The sole purpose of a window is to regulate the amount of ventilation coming into the premises. Therefore, when you are buying a new one, keep in mind the extent to which it can ventilate the environment.